Animation exec Toper Taylor and longtime USC School Of Fine Arts supporter Putter Pence have been named co-chairs has named of the University of Southern California School of Fine Arts Board of Councilors for a two-year term beginning January 2004.At the same time, Craig Jacobson and Ann Ehringer have been appointed to serve as councilors on the 12-person board for three-year terms.
The Board of Councilors provides leadership in advancing the mission of the USC School of Fine Arts by spearheading events and fundraising activities in support of the schools goals; offering assistance to enhance the schools presence in Southern California and beyond; and assisting Dean Ruth Weisberg in identifying and cultivating prospective donors and volunteers.
Taylor recently made entertainment industry headline news with his pending acquisition of Canadian animation studio CINAR, Taylor served for more than 10 years as the top U.S. exec for Nelvana, Ltd., where he helped build the Canadian animation company into one of the worlds most successful and prolific fully-integrated animation entertainment companies.
Taylors led Nelvana to place more than 20 series on the air in the U.S., including 10 first-run strips. Among his numerous achievements, Taylor was the first independent to take over a block of time from a network when Nelvana became exclusive supplier to CBS-TVs Saturday morning lineup. He also launched PBS Bookworm Bunch, the first Saturday morning kids block in PBS 30-year history.
Prior to Nelvana, Taylor served as an agent with William Morris Company. He began his career in entertainment in public relations, serving as a publicist with Norman Winter & Associates. He is an alumnus of USC and has served on several boards.
Pence is, together with her husband Blair, the underwriter of the Masters of Fine Arts Thesis catalog. an alum of the USC Business School, she went on to launch her own Santa Monica-based gallery (from 1986-1991). Most recently, Pence serves as a fine art dealer and consultant for both private and corporate collections.
An avid art collector, entertainment attorney Jacobson curated the notable collection for his law firm Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Sloane & Richman, L.L.P a leading entertainment law firm representing such global corporate clients as Endemol, Alliance Atlantis, Senator Entertainment and Gaylord Entertainment. Thefirm also represents major celebrities, including Mel Gibson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Aniston, Will Smith and many top movie directors (Paul Verhoeven, Chris Columbus, John Woo, Ed Zwick, Sam Raimi, among others) plus many top television and feature writers (including John Wells, Nick Kazan, and David Milch). Jacobson began his entertainment career at Shagin & Myman, moved to Slaff, Mosk & Rudman and then joined Pollock, Bloom and Dekom where he became a partner. While at George Washington, he co-authored THE ENFORCEABILITY OF CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY PRE-HIRE AGREEMENTS AFTER HIGDON for the University of California at Berkeley Industrial Relations Law Journal, fall 1979.
Business educator Ehringer is a former member of the faculty of the USC Marshall School of Business, where she taught in the schools entrepreneurial program. Ehringer is proprietor of Saddlepeak Lodge, the famed destination restaurant located in Malibu.
Through the years, Toper Taylor and Putter Pence have demonstrated a complete dedication to USC and to the USC School of Fine Arts, said Ruth Weisberg, USC School of Fine Arts dean. We could not imagine accomplishing the many goals we have set for ourselves without their commitment of time and expertise. We look forward to benefiting even more as Toper and Putter assume the responsibilities of co-chairing our Board of Councilors.